LUBBOCK, Texas - For all its success on the diamond this year, Texas Tech has not backed off its efforts in the classroom. This was evident Thursday when nine Red Raiders were named to the Academic All-Big 12 teams, the most among conference schools.
Holley Gentsch, Ashley Hamada, and Taylor Powell led the way as the three players were among the six conference student-athletes recognized with perfect 4.00 grade-point averages. It marked the third-straight selection to the first team for both Gentsch and Hamada and the first for Powell.
The two seniors were among nine Big 12 players recognized for the third-straight year. Gentsch, though, holds the distinction of being one of the few players in league history honored with a 4.00 GPA all three years.
Cydney Allen, Logan Hall, Sandy James, Mikey Kenney, and Raven Richardson joined the group on the first team while Meredith Heath was Tech's lone selection to the second team. James, Kenney, and Richardson were all honored for the second time in their careers while Allen, Hall, and Heath were first-time recipients.
"I couldn't be prouder of this group for not just their play on the field but how they have performed in the classroom," Tech head coach Shanon Hays said. "As a coach, it makes you proud to see your team succeed and this group has put in the effort to make them successful in all aspects of life."
Nominated by each institution's director of student-athlete support services, the Academic All-Big 12 softball team consists of 49 first team members combined with six on the second team. First team members consist of those who have maintained a 3.20 or better GPA, and the second team are those who have a 3.00 to 3.19 GPA.
To qualify student-athletes must maintain a 3.00 GPA or higher either cumulative or the two previous semesters and must have participated in 60 percent of their team's scheduled contests. Freshmen and transfers are not eligible in their first year of academic residence. Senior student-athletes who have participated for a minimum of two years and meet all the criteria except percent of participation are also eligible.